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Charitable programs

The Light up a Life fundraising campaign
The Light up a Life fundraising campaign is CTBC Charity Foundation’s most important event each year. We have held the campaign annually since its launch in 1985. Light up a Life is the first activity of its kind held by a Taiwanese enterprise specifically to aid disadvantaged children and is also the longest-running charity fundraising campaign in the nation.

Many years ago, Chinatrust Financial Holding Company former Chairman Jeffrey L. S. Koo was in New York attending a Christmas party. After returning to Taiwan, he saw some children who could not enjoy the holiday because of their families’ economic difficulties. Their helpless eyes were in stark contrast to the magnificent, sparkling Christmas tree he had seen on display in Time Square. He was deeply dismayed and decided to launch the Light up a Life fundraising campaign. We can “light one lamp and brighten one life” each year as we raise funds to help improve the lives of Taiwan’s disadvantaged children.
Igniting children’s hope for the future through education
The path out of poverty is long and trying, especially in the wake of the global financial crisis. The economy remains weak and the wealth gap between rich and poor is widening as many individuals have joined the ranks of the unemployed. All these factors have contributed to the worsening of poverty and associated problems. Disadvantaged families and underprivileged children are the most deeply affected. Not only are they facing worsening conditions, but they see no hope for the future.

CTBC continues to focus our efforts on the problem of poverty in Taiwan and the needs of disadvantaged children. Providing disadvantaged children the opportunity to receive an education is the key. We feel that education will lead to prosperity, so CTBC provides comprehensive assistance to children who would otherwise lack the necessary resources to go to school. Through the implementation of each program, we invest education resources and serve as a positive influence on each child. In addition, we bring a smile to their faces and put them on path towards a bright future.
CTBC Poverty Alleviation Program – Fighting poverty through entrepreneurship
CTBC Poverty Alleviation Program was inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus’ Grameen Bank and the microloans it offers, but tailored to the needs of Taiwan’s financially-disadvantaged families. Supported by its chairman, Jeffrey Koo Jr. , CTBC Charity Foundation worked
with CTBC Bank, CTBC Life, Small and Medium Enterprise Credit Guarantee Fund of Taiwan, social welfare groups, and other partners, recruited a professional entrepreneurship consulting team, and launched “CTBC Poverty Alleviation Program“ in September, 2011.

The program is an innovative and historically-significant anti-poverty model that provides disadvantaged families with necessary assistance to start their own businesses.

In the program, CTBC Charity Foundation serves as an effective resource coordination platform. Social welfare groups inviparents of disadvantaged families who are interested in starting their own businesses to participate in the entrepreneurial classes. After a round of interviews with all these families, qualified ones are selected and given entrepreneurial guidance.

The program then reviews the selected families’ loan applications and extends loans to approved ones. With adequate entrepreneurial knowledge and funding, the families are better positioned to address the tough challenges of starting a business.

The microloans to the families in the program are provided by CTBC Bank and disbursed in installments based on the capital required in their business plans. These families can get a loan without a guarantor or putting up any collateral. Loans can total up to NT$500,000 and have a maximum repayment period of seven years. During the first year, borrowers may choose to pay only interest to reduce the pressure on them during the critical early phase of their business.

In addition, the program features CTBC volunteers who utilize their specialized knowledge in finance to help the families manage their finances.